One of Us

Due to this bug that have infiltrated my son’s system, we have mostly stayed indoors this past week.  Anyhow, it gave me time to figure out how to decorate the bare walls of our home.

I was browsing through some of the photos that can perhaps be made into a collage.  It is a collection of pictures of some of our most memorable trips in the West Coast.  Here’s some of them.


During a ski trip at Big Bear Lake, California.


Posing for posterity at Marina del Rey, California after biking from Will Rogers Beach to Redondo Beach.


During a short hike at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona…..way back then.


Posing at one of the rest areas (can’t remember the name) during a wine tasting trip to Solvang, California.


Posing with our friend Gus during one of the weekend runs with the Finish Line Freaks, our running team.  Boy, do I look freaky!


A classic pose after climbing the “delicate arch” in Utah.


At the Monument Valley in Utah.


Posing after coming back from a short hike down the Bryce Canyon in Utah.

As I was browsing through these pictures, my little boy was with me.  Everytime a picture is shown, he would point  to it and say:  “Tati” or “Mommy.”   But after this last photo, he exclaimed:  “Where’s Jakub?”    It was one of those very simple questions that touched my heart.  He is starting to identify himself as one of us.  He is starting to understand the idea of family.

Looking at those pictures made me miss the past.  But my little boy’s simple question made me appreciate what I have,  enough to get me excited of what’s to come.


As I was roaming through the streets of my little town today, something caught my attention.  There is quite a number of “Herna”  (casino) in some strategic spots around the city.  Because Czechs do love the outdoors, this is a sighting that I rather find quite unlikely.

When I think of casinos, I think of Las Vegas.  Back in California, whenever somebody wants to splurge, celebrate or relax, it is the place to go.  Aside from gambling, there are a lot of concerts and shows that are being run in various hotels.  Not to mention that top-of-the-line spas are also one of its biggest attractions.  Needless to say, Vegas meant partying or relaxing.

The Las Vegas Strip

But Vegas is not all about gambling or going wild.  There are also a lot of  things to do in Vegas outside the comfort of one’s hotel.  One can visit Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, listed as one of the seven wonders of the industrial world.  And for golf enthusiasts, there is also the option of visiting Boulder City, the only place in Nevada that is so unlike Vegas.

The Lake Mead viewed from the Hoover Dam.

But perhaps one of my favorite  and memorable activities on this side of the country was a trip to the Grand Canyon, right around Nevada’s neighboring state of Arizona.  Although it is a few hours drive from Vegas, it is  not that far away.  The canyon’s unparalleled beauty was a great photography subject.

Sunset at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

The short hikes to the viewing spots also provided a very good exercise for my feet and lungs.

Now that we are here in Czech, all I can do is reminisce those good old days.  That’s why after seeing those casinos around town, I cannot help remembering those days when I was young and free and Vegas was just a few hours away.